As a foreign student in London, there are many exciting things and places to explore. Though there are also a few challenges to overcome. From being smart with money to finding the accommodation that suits your needs, here are our tips for foreign students moving to London.
1. The visa situation
The most important thing to sort out before moving here is your visa. Students coming from an EU country are not required to have a visa to study in the UK. That being said though, the aftermath of Brexit may change things so do your research. Students arriving from outside of the EU will need a Tier 4 Student Visa.
In terms of student jobs: Students from the EU can work as many hours as they wish while students from non-EU countries may be limited to working 20 hours a week. don’t Don’t be afraid to ask your uni’s student services for help.
2. The accommodation
Your own apartment? Shared housing? Student Halls? Figure out what your needs are in terms of accommodation before you move to London. Halls are the most traditional type of accommodation, similar to American dormitories. There are catered halls where all amenities are part of the package including dining facilities. You could also select self-catered halls, where you are in charge of your own meals, but still have the sociable aspect of living with others.
It is important to choose accommodation that suits your personality and lifestyle. It is likely that the friends you make in your first year will go on to live with you throughout the rest of your university years
Setting up a UK bank account will save you the hassle of foreign currency charges. Most banks in the UK will require a passport, proof of address (such as a bill) from both your home and your current accommodation and proof of student status to do this.
To prove your student status your university acceptance letter should suffice. Also if you do not have any bills, student housing services should be able to provide a proof of address. The bank may also run a credit check in the form of a short interview to establish that you are responsible enough to open an account.
Student accounts often have superb benefits.
If you are moving to London from an EU country, you should get a European Health Insurance Card before arriving here. This will give you the chance to take advantage of the free (or reduced cost) health care services through the NHS. Students coming from outside of the EU will need to purchase their own health insurance.
Get yourself a student Oyster card. The Oyster card is a contactless travel card that can be used on the London underground, overground and bus services and offers students a discounted rate for travel. It’s personalised with your name and photo so that if lost, your money can be transferred to a new card.
If you plan on traveling around the country, it is worth investing in a 16-25 Railcard. You can also find some great deals on one of he major the coach services. Buying tickets in advance can make the difference between a £10 ticket and a £90 ticket.
yes, talking about the weather in London never gets old. Contrary to popular belief it does not rain all of the time in London. That being said, it does get cold and wet so bring warm clothes, wet weather clothes and a sturdy umbrella.
No friends in London yet? Don’t worry…we are here to help. Check out friendrequest and find like-minded people in the capital.